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Any advice for someone starting out?

mmunroe

New Member
Apr 30, 2017
1
0
I'm very new to this; until now I have just picked up bottles and the like at local antique stores that I thought would look good in my home. I'm curious what you wish you would have known when you started to collect items with value. Should I concentrate on one kind of item or manufacturer? Where is the best place to find items? Is there a list of must haves?! Thank you for your time.
 

Robby Raccoon

Trash Digger
Jun 14, 2014
4,286
63
Locō movērī
It's a hobby, not a job. Collect what you want unless you intend it for investment. It's meant to give you pleasure, not to make you feel competitive or the need to match. Most people are too obsessed with Keeping up with the Joneses.
Currently, though, investmentwise....original (there are many reproductions) pictorial and figural Historical Flasks are very popular, along with Bitters bottles. But you can expect to shell out hundreds and not see any real profit in the future.
If you would like to learn about the actual manufacturing and dating diagnostics for antique utility glass (as in, glass with a real function, like antique bottles, rather han just art glass), then here is your new best friend:
https://sha.org/bottle/
As for where to find them, you can find neat bottles for cheap on e-Bay. Antique stores mostly sell junk now, or are just too over-priced. Even e-Bay is beginning to get like that.
 

CanadianBottles

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2014
2,766
83
Personally, I wish that I'd started collecting things that are local to me earlier. I know I passed up some amazing deals due to not specializing in anything. If you live in a small town and you see cheap bottles from your area, especially with paper labels, pick them up. Not because they'll ever be valuable (they won't) but because future you will be happy you have them.

I wouldn't recommend shelling out too much money at first, there's a good chance you'll end up overpaying and later on you'll likely end up specializing in something and won't even want that expensive bottle you bought.

Don't expect anything you buy to appreciate in value too much. I don't think bottle collecting is going to be dying anytime soon but the supply of pre-1930's dumps that are easy to dig is running out, and that's how most collectors get their start. Not enough new collectors means prices depreciate.

Look for bottle shows or antique and collectible shows near where you live. That's by far the best place to consistently find good prices on interesting bottles. Flea markets are also good, and you can get good stuff through classified ads but that can be pretty hit-and-miss.

And if you're able to try your hand at bottle digging! There are still plenty of bottles out there to be found if you know where to look.
 

stagecoach

New Member
May 28, 2017
1
0
Help with green bottle i.d.

I've found a green soda type bottle with a rough finish. It has 705-560, CONTENTS 12 FL OZS. AND L-G ON THE BOTTOM.
Any info would be appreciated.
 

Van

Member
Jan 5, 2020
16
3
I too am new. And not very savvy on the computer end either. I love this site because of the history it uncovers, and the stories that brought it back. I collect bottles for the beauty they bring to my windows. I’m glad you all are here, thank you!!
 

martyfoley

Well-Known Member
Sep 24, 2019
208
43
My advice to someone just starting out is, specialize in one type of bottle that you really enjoy the history of, i.e. medicines, inks, sodas etc. and then get a used price guide book on that type of bottle on Amazon and study it. Knowledge is the key. Get familiar with values, and learning to identify the age of a bottle. Condition means a lot as well. Then when you go to the flea market, or antique shop, you will have some idea of what you are looking at for possible purchase. I think you have to specialize, as there is just to much to learn about this hobby. Personally, I like the medicines as their history is very interesting to me. One other tidbit, whenever you see an old bottle with the paper label still intact and readable consider buying it even if its only from the 30s, 40s, or 50s. These I believe will become more valuable over time. Just my two cents. Good Luck!
 

slugplate

Well-Known Member
Jul 7, 2016
429
63
It's a never ending learning process. There is sooo much information about bottles and bottle types that you can literally drive yourself mad. Personally, I started out collecting blob top beers and sodas. The more I learned the more my collection expanded. It really isn't a hobby that embraces impatience or gathering as much glass as we can. So, starting off as a collector, not a digger or hunter, my advice would be to start off with certain bottle types, meds, soda, beer, whiskey, etc. For example, there are collectors out there that ONLY collect ACL sodas. If you're a digger and/or hunter like I am, the collection can be enormously varied... which means your time on the computer or researching in a book expands exponentially. And even with that there is no guarantee you can find information on them. Basically, start small, learn what you can and build to your comfort level. It's not a competition, it's a hobby I love because I appreciate old glass. Best wishes, happy hunting, and most of all enjoy it.
 

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